Minot’s first ‘bot’ employee

Jen Brodal/MDN Photos with Santa and Miss Bot are available Fridays and Saturday evenings.

N.D. Asia has completely revamped its kitchen staffing and has gained a very valuable employee. The new employee doesn’t require a W2 tax form or time off. The guests at N.D. Asia, located at 3400 16th St. SW, refer to the waitress on wheels as “Miss Bot.”

Suhermin and Melissa Mak, have owned the restaurant for eight years. Suhermin Mak said he recently visited a major city and saw many restaurants with several robots working to bring customers their food. Mak said they cost less than $20,000 and provide a great return in working with other staff.

Miss Bot works to bring customers their entrees by assisting servers, who otherwise would need to use a tray or carry many dishes at once, which pays for itself, said Mak. He said the robot makes it easier for employees and frees them up to do other things.

The robot works all hours and stays busy. When the restaurant is busy, not every table gets bot delivery of their food items. It is a mix of humans and the robot, but the robot helps in rushes and knows which tables it needs to deliver to.

There are a few robot models used in the restaurant industry that work basically the same. Some bots bring delivery orders to people’s homes. Mak said it does not get hung up like robotic vacuums, which continually bump into walls or quit when coming to a different room or rug. Mak said Miss Bot has worked well in the couple weeks the restaurant has had the robot, and it is easy to use.

Mak said he thinks it is fun and something new and interesting. It is something that brings people in.

“I thought since it was Christmas time it would be a great addition to the restaurant and it’s the only one in town,” said Mak.

Most importantly, the kids like it. The kids say, “I need to see the robot. I came here for the robot.” On Fridays and Saturdays until Christmas, N.D. Asia will have Santa and Miss Bot available for free pictures with children from 5-9 p.m.


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